The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (P.A.A.R.I.), a nonprofit organization helping enforcement agencies, recently partnered with 11 Massachusetts police departments to distribute fentanyl test strip kits.
The partnership is a three-month pilot project funded by a $150,000 Massachusetts Department of Public Health grant. Kits will be provided for individuals at risk of opioid overdose between now and June.
The kits will be distributed by the participating police departments and their partners to build relationships with members of the community, save lives, and refer people to treatment and long-term recovery.
Each kit contains three fentanyl test strips, instructions, a COVID-19 safety handout, and information on how to obtain nasal naloxone, the Massachusetts Substance Use Helpline, and how to contact a P.A.A.R.I. recovery coach.
“P.A.A.R.I. is extremely grateful and proud to be selected for this innovative pilot project by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health,” John Rosenthal, P.A.A.R.I. co-founder and board chairman, said. “Providing our law enforcement partners with fentanyl test strips will absolutely save the lives of people unknowingly using deadly fentanyl instead of the substance they think they’re using. I applaud the Governor, Legislature, DPH, and our frontline police departments for embracing this life-saving initiative.”
In 2019, 93 percent of overdose deaths in Massachusetts were from fentanyl.